Author: Pook

Pook rubbed at her eyes in exhaustion, having been awake the entire night before after telling Aaleyada that she didn't want to marry him. Needless to say, he hadn't taken it well. She was truly shocked at how much it seemed to mean to him, a simple ceremony and some words.

She thought back the weddings she'd attended. Too many for her liking. Weddings depressed her. Dazin and Taia, Lucient and Essaris, Erunamo and Corvissia, Ellistra and Mathilda, Alastar and Raphaella. Everyone had seemed so...happy. As if a simple ceremony could put all their worries to rest. As if promising to commit their life to a person could truly make them not stray. And yet...

She sighed to herself. Perhaps there was something to it. Words and rituals...she was starting to understand rituals now. Promises. The security of having someone who had promised to always be there. It And there was the matter of the child...surely it needed two parents who were committed to one another?

With a firm nod, she went to find him. The only one who had accepted her as she was, without trying to change her nature. He was a good man, a kind man, and he would protect her and their child. He'd give everything of himself to give them a good life.

Turning, she nearly ran into Jimbotomy in the Auction House. "We need to talk," he told her.

She smiled at him shyly. "Yes, we do."

"I've been were rright," he said, his brown eyes searching for hers. On occasion he seemed to pick up on her habit of drawing out her rr's as she always made her smile.

"Rright? About what in parrticularr?" She said with a grin.

"About marriage. I have friends...they talk about me. They see you go off with other men and they worry about me. They think you're hurting me. If we were to have a wedding, a ceremony, it would be very difficult to explain the...ah...nature, of our relationship...." He looked down at the ground and shuffled his feet.

Pook blinked at him wordlessly.

"So I think you were rright...we just don't need to be married right now. But...someday you might want a simpler life..." He looked at her with a smile that, while kindly, seemed just a bit forced. "If you do...then perrhaps we can be wed."

Pook blinked a few more times and let the words sink in..."Oh."

After a matter of a few more silent and awkward moments, Pook was striding, stiff-legged with fury, through the Park, with Jim trailing after her.

"Pook...please! Talk to me!" Jim pleaded with her, struggling a bit to keep up with her long-legged gait.

"No! No, you've made yourrself clearr...You don't want to be involved with me because you WORRRY about what people THINK!" She snarled. "Because it's too much TRROUBLE forr you to have to EXPLAIN!"

"No! That's not what I meant! Pook, stop!" He lunged and caught her arm. "Please...I love you..." He murmured to her quietly, privately, trying to meet her eyes.

"You said you underrstood! You said you didn't want to change me, to limit me! And yet making otherr people CONFUSED is enough of a rreason forr you to give up on me?!" She raged, tears gathering in her eyes. "I don't carre what people THINK of me. I couldn't get thrrough a single day if I let it affect me! Why is it so imporrtant to you?!"

Jim sighed, drawing her close, running a hand through her hair soothingly. "Pook...I'm sorrry. You're rright. Let people think what they want. I love you..." He guided her head against his shoulder, whispering against her hair. "And I do want to marry you someday..."

"SEE?!" She exploded, pushing back from him. "You don't even want to say it OUT LOUD! You'rre ashamed forr people to KNOW!" She turned swiftly on her heel and started to stalk away.

"I WANT TO MARRY YOU, POOK!" Jim bellowed at the top of his lungs, causing heads to turn all over the park, including Erunamo where he stood talking to a feral Druid girl by the Moonwell.

"Stop drinking, Jim!" Measha yelled from the doorstep of the Wisps and Spirits.

Pook slowed and stopped, peering at Jim thoughtfully. "Do you think that being marrried to me would be something that you could be happy with? Knowing that I wouldn't let it confine me? But it would be a bond that you and I alone would sharre..."

"I think that it would make me the happiest man alive," Jim said, bowing his head slightly, his hair falling around his face.

"Then...perrhaps we should?" Pook said slowly, seeming to be surprised at the words coming out of her own mouth.

Behind them, a masked and red-haired Rogue leaned against a wall, whispering harshly into a red stone with a deep frown. Erunamo as well drifted closer, a look of disbelief and pain on his face.

Jim blinked, equally surprised. "What?"

"Perrhaps we should...get marrried?" She replied, her head tilted to one side, testing out the sound of it.

"I..." Jim stammered, and then stood, wrapping his arms around her tightly, a wide smile spread across his face. "Of course."

Later that night, Pook took a walk. With a gesture and a flash she was at the Moonglade, wandering where her feet would take her, not really thinking of anything, her mind a blank. She just felt a need to be out in the night air, away from the cities...

She found herself at the Gryphon master. Soon she was in the air, looking up at the moon as the wind whistled through her hair. She rested her head against the Gryphon's neck, closing her eyes and feeling the feathers brush against her face as it flew.

Landing, she shrugged into another shape. Running on four feet down a path they'd travelled several times before. She stopped when the ground ended, falling off sharply into the sea, the jagged cliffs hanging dangerously over the water.

She changed back to her Elven form and sat on the rocks, looking out over the moon and the stars and the night sky, reflected distantly by the sea. On her left hand a Ring of the Heavens glinted in the moonlight. From the very first night they met, Jim seemed convinced that she was an angel despite all evidence to the contrary.

On her right hand there was a ring that seemed to be carved of a single faceted gem, red as blood. It glowed under its own light faintly, flickering as if to the time of a heartbeat. Its twin was on Aaleyada's finger, finally asleep after not having done so in days.

But in her hands were three beautiful black diamonds. Arranged and set, they could make a stunning ring. She turned them, watching them catch and reflect the moonlight as the sea air whipped around her, blowing the tears from her cheeks, there on the cliffs of Azshara.

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